Every Thursday after my Organic Chemistry lab at UF, I drive down to visit Cait in Tampa.  The drives are always boring, but the visits are always eventful, to say the least. Last weekend our friends, Michael and Melissa invited us to stay with them and some other friends at their cabin and go Red fishing in the Gulf.  Although knowing, through experience, that good luck and fortune doesn’t frequently follow me into unfamiliar waters, I was extremely excited about the invitation. Last year during R&R leave from my deployment to Qatar, we ran out of gas several miles offshore. We had to call a company named Sea-Tow, which took more than an hour, to bring some needed fuel.

sea-tow filling someone up

This year, it was unfortunate that we didn’t just merely run out of fuel… Read More

The last month has been a really busy one. If not from classes, traveling/moving, kayaking, I’ve been tied up trying to get my bike repaired by Specialized in California. That’s right — a couple of days after owning the bike, I looked over at the seat tube as it sat next to me and noticed a small crack in the carbon frame. Read More

Here are some recent pictures from our trip to Chicago. The link to the full album is at the end. Please check it out if your curious where the pictures were taken.


Finally, after 9 years of being an undergraduate student, I graduated. Funny thing is, I still have 2 more years of undergraduate post-baccalaureate work! There are also some pictures of Paynes Prairie from my parents visit.

Check out the album for more photos!

So there are a lot of changes to the site, most of which I wont go into detail about (because they deal with the coding underneath the appearance), but I will say that it’s a step towards making this site more photo and less text oriented. The idea is that in the next two years, I’ll have more opportunities to travel. Secondly, I just picked up a new hobby (photography), so I figured I’d recode this site to complement those two facts. The new framework of this site has allowed me to add functions I couldn’t use before. Anyway, images are easier to upload and organize, and more importantly, I have the ability to show (on a Google Map) exactly where the photos were taken, in case you’re curious, or perhaps want to travel there yourselves.

I have uploaded two new photo galleries, check them out here: A Taste of Tampa and Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park.

Finally, here is a little demo of me in action at Payne’s Prairie and the new Geo-tag image function of the site!


You can scroll, zoom, and click with the map below to find out exactly where these photos were taken:


Alright, so it’s been a while. I get it; you’re dying for an update. Here it goes… For sometime I have been reading this particular blog about a computer programer that does a lot of traveling. There is a specific post about a pretty cool mountain trail this guy completed called Mt. Huashan (picture to the left – would you hike it?). Reading the posts sparks an interest I have always had: being able to travel in my spare time (which will be pretty rare in the next several years). However, the dreams are not smothered by my dreams of being a physician. In fact, there are plenty of physicians that do humanitarian work in developing countries. I met a doctor, Ashis Brahma, at an international health conference at Yale back in 2005 that essentially lived in conflict-torn regions of Africa. When I was deployed, I read a book about an Orthopedic surgeon that did a lot of wilderness expeditions. He even took time off during residency to climb a mountain in Puru. Lets just say, that probably wouldn’t fly at most programs.  “Surviving the Extremes” by Kenneth Kamler, goes into the science and physiology of what occurs to people that live in those treacherous and basically inhospitable environments. He breaks down being shocked by an electric eel in the amazon, high altitude pulmonary/cerebral edema on Mt. Everest, hallucinogenic herbs that are used for medicinal purposes, etc. Anyway, the books just keeps the hopes alive of once every several years, taking an extreme trip to an extreme location. Oh, I finally bought a DSLR camera too, similar to the one I mentioned a few months ago.  I snagged it off a US Treasury repossessed auction site. I guess if I find out I don’t have enough time for the photography hobby, I can resell all my gear on ebay and make a little profit! However this semester, Cait and I will probably get some use out of the camera.  We have trips planned for Tampa (and surrounding areas), the Smoky Mountains, and Chicago! I’ll update you with some pictures from the camera as soon as it comes in!

For the past two years, I have been involved in a research project in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida regarding the driving performance issues of returning military personnel with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The research in general has been very demanding and rewarding — it has very much defined my life before this deployment. Numerous read articles, several written abstracts, many days in the hospital, dedicated help from many, mentoring from the best, and late nights gathering and analyzing data later, the resulting manuscript was finally approved last week for publishing in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT):

Classen, S., Levy, C., Meyer, D., Bewernitz, M.,  Lanford, D., M., Mann, W.C.  Driving Performance of Returning Combat Veterans with TBI: A pilot study. Manuscript accepted on 07/29/10. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Here is also a video of some of what we do in the Trauma Rehabilitation Center for Returning Military Personnel at the University of Florida: